Columbus Crew – FC Cincinnati: “Hell is Real” Derby Ends In Relative Purgatory (2-2)
In the first “Hell is Real” derby match in MLS history, both teams could not have entered the match in worse positions. Both Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati were rooted to the bottom of the table in the Eastern Conference, and looking for answers. Caleb Porter’s team could not mesh together their possession style with results. Cincinnati had just hired Dutch manager Ron Jans and questions about what his style of play would look like obviously existed. While these teams had met earlier when Cincinnati were still a USL cub, it would be unique to witness the birth of a true Ohio rivalry in the league.
Tactical analysis and match report by Carl Carpenter.
Columbus Crew manager Caleb Porter stuck with his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation. Sitting in the double pivot 4-2-3-1 is one of the most frequently occurring formations in football. The two most defensive midfielders are called a ‘double pivot’. were guaranteed starters Wil Trapp and Artur. Pedro Santos, who has played across a number of midfield positions this season, started as Porter’s number ten, and U.S National Team forward Gyasi Zardes naturally played up front.
Ron Jan’s first team selection mirrored the manager’s profile in his previous jobs: a 4-3-3 formation - he is Dutch after-all. The highlight of the selection was the front three of Darren Mattocks, Roland Lamah and Emmanuel Ledesma who were full of energy and pressing, a fact that would present itself in the proceedings of the match. Fullbacks Mathieu Deplange and Andrew Gutman were also tasked with positioning themselves high up the pitch and contribute to this system of pressing.